Karen and Jackie take on the Caledon-Lakeside Ride

A Great Lakes to Greenbelt Cycling Adventure.

We set out to do the Caledon Lakeside Loop. We started our ride from Jackie’s home in Burlington so we intentionally added a few kms to the loop.

The Caledon-Lakeside Ride showcases the Mississauga and Oakville waterfront, the Greenbelt route between Georgetown and Caledon and the Etobicoke Creek Trail. At 173 kilometres, it is recommended as a two-day ride with an overnight in Georgetown.

Day One

The first part of the ride up through Oakville out into the country was great if getting some kilometres in is the only goal.

The hills, in my opinion, were the saving grace; some challenging terrain to keep it interesting. Granted, we didn’t stop and check out the Limehouse Conservation Area along the way but we also were trying to manage our time.  I know that Limehouse Conservation Area is a beautiful hiking spot, but I didn’t want to leave the road bike to go off course.

A quick calculation at this junction told us we could push out to the nearby town of Acton and have a look. We decided when arriving in Acton to take a quick 30 minutes to have a drink and a snack,  that way we could relax knowing we had time to arrive at our overnight in Georgetown before it got dark.

It’s worth noting that we only had one opportunity at about 20 km into the ride (Dundas Street in North Oakville) for coffee and a snack but nothing again until Acton.

We set our sights on the Furnace Room Brewery in Georgetown for a drink – we tried the Chicken Man Beer – named after a local man who rode his bike around town with a chicken! We checked into our hotel room at the Best Western and knew we were getting picked up to go out for dinner with my daughter. This day was 85+ kms

Having time to reflect we realized we really didn’t have a chance to talk much-mostly single file riding and definitely no food along the way. Thankfully we packed some snacks  I would say this day would appeal mostly to ‘hard core cyclists’

Day Two

We started our day in Georgetown having coffee with my daughter and then got back on the route. Also, vowing to make some side trips to see some things in the area and to eat and drink.

The roads on day two just seemed more interesting and even though it was still very hilly we really enjoyed this start. Just before hooking up with the Caledon rail trail we missed a crucial turn due to a missing sign.  The trail was great, packed gravel that I could manage easily with my road bike (23 mm tires).

We left the trail to check out Spirit Tree Cidery (coffee and a homemade pastry) and to bike past the Cheltenham Badlands.  Both were worth the effort. We went straight up the street from the Badlands and caught the trail again.

The stretch of roads getting to the Etobicoke trail were safe and well marked.

The Etobicoke trail is a definite ‘must do’ for any cyclist. Such an amazing network of trails covering 42 kms. The signage was not always the best so we really relied on the Ride with GPS app with the route.  There are so many places you can pop out and get food and drink, we got a pizza in Brampton that sure hit the spot! There were a couple of closed sections, but that was documented on the app so we were (sort of) prepared.

We just loved biking along the creek, plus the section around the Toronto airport was very cool too.

We stopped at Long Branch and caught the GO train back to Burlington. We were already at 100 km for the day, so to close the circle would have been another 30.

So, I am not sure if the kms listed (173) is entirely accurate but in total for us our two day ride would have been 210km at least, and that was with us not taking all the suggested detours.

I would totally recommend a ride from Acton to Georgetown and then up the trail etc with maybe an overnight in Brampton, continuing to Long Branch or Port Credit or even Burlington (or Toronto if you want to head the other direction of course.) This day would have appeal to cyclists with varying skill and drive.

Had a great time. Would do day 2 again and really appreciated learning about these “new to us” trails!

Check out the Caledon-Lakeside route and download GPS files

Author: Karen Van Weerden